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On This Day: August 12

12 August 2015

The Clarets paid their first-ever visit to Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium for the opening league game of the new campaign following promotion back to the First Division, the second level of English football.

Wanderers had moved to their new home in the summer of 1997, after 102 years at Burnden Park.

Burnley fielded three new signings, including midfield hardman Kevin Ball, a Sunderland legend but signed by Stan Ternent following a season at Fulham.

Left sided defender or midfielder Lee Briscoe, a former England under 21 international had been signed from Sheffield Wednesday, and Northern Ireland international striker Phil Gray was picked up on a free transfer from Luton Town.

Five and half thousand Burnley fans made up more than a quarter of the 20,000 plus attendance and they saw Wanderers go ahead on 26 minutes thanks to a penalty from Per Frandsen after Isaiah Rankin was brought down by Ian Cox.

After 55 minutes the Clarets deservedly equalised when sub Glen Little floated in
a delicious cross from the right that was met by Gray, who crashed home a header on his debut.

1-1    was how it finished with  Burnley picking up a fully merited point on their first game back.
The fans didn’t see very much more of Gray, he made only four more league appearances, without scoring, being substituted on every occasion.

During his time at Turf Moor Gray made almost as many appearances for his country as his club, winning three of his total of 26 Northern Ireland caps, as a Burnley player.

He moved on to Oxford United in November 2000.

Burnley team (3-5-2): Paul Crichton, Ian Cox, Steve Davis, Mitchell Thomas, Paul Weller, John Mullin, Kevin Ball, Paul Cook, Lee Briscoe, Andy Cooke, Phil Gray.
Subs used: Glen Little, Graham Branch.

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